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in washington. wolf. >> brooke, thanks very much. >>> happening now, president obama nominates chuck hagel to run the pentagon. calling him a leader our troops deserve. hagel's critics call him profoundly wrong on national security. also, we have new details about a horrifying night in colorado. a police officer cries as he describes a theater floor slippery with blood. >>> plus, a first look at proposed regulations that have would-be gun owners racing right now to buy guns. >>> i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com >>> we begin with president obama setting the stage for a new fight here in washington. this time, other the national security team for his second term. the president's nominating the former senator chuck hagel, a republican, for defense secretary, and his counterterrorism adviser john brennan to direct the cia. at least one critic calls the hagel nomination an "in your face" pick. let's bring in our white house correspondent brianna keilar. she's working the story for us. the president was effusive in his praise for hagel. >> p
following hagel's nomination? i heard from some guy he donated a kidney to mitch mcconnell. what a guy. >> i'm not sure that is exactly right but we will sort it out. thanks for watching. "morning joe" starts right now. >> going all the way. drops it off. in the end zone, touchdown, alabama. tide rolling again. if this was a prizefight, they'd call it off. >> coach, doesn't seem the defense we have really grown to seeing all season. where do they need to come in the second half? >> maybe alabama doesn't come in the second half. it's all albaabama. >> unfortunately for the head coach, alabama did return for the second half, is there no debating it. alabama has cemented its status as a bona fide college football dynasty after thrashing and offer matched notre dame 42-14 in last night's championship game. willie, it just started that way for notre dame and never came back. it was over before it even began. >> two teams playing a different game. notre dame was the high ranked team at number 1. this was the time alabama was to be taken down. it was clear, what do you figure, 10 minutes into the g
. >>> the republicansdy policemen ma. john mccain and others praise senator chuck hagel years ago. we'll take a look at the republican problem there. democratic senator will join us to talk live about the latest on hagel and brennan. >>> protests outside the white house, over john brennan's nomination as cia director. why aren't people talking about the controversy surrounding him more? >> for the american people. >> thank you, america. >> helping people recover and rebuild, this's what we do. >> now, let's bring on tomorrow. >> the ad campaign is called thank you america. that's what aig is saying publicly after being rescued by the bailout. so why is the insurer now considering suing the u.s. government? you can join our conversation on twitter. what can we do with a brand new year, and a room that needs refreshing? we can work with a new collection of carpet that proves durable can be softer than ever. we can get for less and spread that softness even further. turns out, we can do even more than we thought we could. because this is the year of doing. more saving. more doing. that's the power of t
" tonight, saving sergeant hagel. president obama raring for a fight over his defense secretary nominee. you may say why there a fight? on paper, this guy is pretty incredible. looks like he would be a lock for a job that usually is one with pretty much 100% of the senate voting aye. military experience, check that box. he would be the first enlisted man and first vietnam vet to serve as secretary of defense, he was wounded in combat and he earned two purple hearts. business and management experience, after all, the pentagon is a huge organization. check. hagel cofounded a company called van guard cellular systems which made him a multimillionaire. and knowing how to get things done in washington. check on that. hagel served two terms as a u.s. senator from nebraska and served as deputy administrator of the veterans administration. plus he's a republican nominated by a democrat, so it sounds pretty perfect, right? today, president obama told the nation why he loved chuck hagel. >> in the senate, i came to admire his courage and his judgment, his willingness to speak his mind, even if it wasn
hagel's nomination for defense secretary topped today's sunday talks. >> overall temperment and is he suited to run a department or big agency like the pentagon. >> whether he really believes that the surge was the worst blunderer since the vietnam war, that clearly is not -- that is not correct. in fact, it is bizarre. why would he oppose calling the iranian revolutionary guard a terrorist organization? >> peter alexander is at the white house where that nomination was announced. good afternoon to you. what is the president's strategy for dealing with these sorts of road blocks from republicans ahead of hagel's hearing? >> reporter: it is clear that the administration, the white house, specifically stands behind chuck hagel and is waiting for hearings to take place and they say it is only at that time that they will see exactly how chuck hagel will react to pushback. colin powell referred to hagel as having a diminished public record. he will be as secretary of defense the first grunt as it were ever to serve as secretary of defense and powell said because he put his own life at risk
security positions. just moments ago the president nominated chuck hagel, the former republican senator from nebraska to be the next secretary of defense, succeeding leon panetta, and he nominated john brennan, counterterrorism homeland security adviser in the white house to be the next director of the cia, succeeding the acting director, mike morell, who took over in november when john david petraeus stepped down following an extramarital affair with his biographer. the president made it clear he wants the senate to confirm these nominations quickly, especially chuck hagel, because there has been some controversy over the nominee. listen to the president. >> chuck recognizes that american leadership is indispensable in a dangerous world. i saw this in our travels together across the middle east. he understands that america stands strongest when we stand with allies. and with friends. as a successful businessman, he also knows that even as we may tough fiscal choices, we have to do so wisely, guided by our strategy and keep our military the strongest fighting force the world has ever kn
. some will fight the choice of the former republican senator chuck hagel for the job. >>> and the car of the future just might be here already. details about the new self-driving car. >> is it fighting irish or roll tide? college football champ will be crowned. what about the pros? major second guessing after a football star goes down. >> and the lineup this morning, newark mayor cory booker will join us, chris murphy, connie mack and mary bono mack and mike and mike in the morning are our guests. and "starting point" begins right now. welcome, everybody. this just in to cnn. the white house naming long-time cia official and top counterterrorism adviser john brennan as high-profile conservatives are declaring war so to speak for the president's pick for defense secretary. chuck hagel for nebraska. let's get to jill daugherty. let's start with brennan. first, give us information on brennan. how do you expect his nomination process to go? >> you know, he's a heavy hitter in this for a lock time. john brennan, of course, the adviser to the president for the past four years, counterterror
. chris: well said. >> chuck hagel. big discussions. unlike with susan rice where she hung fire for weeks and was dropped, or she dropped herself, this time he stuck with hagel after all the heat against him on -- some from the gays and the left and the neo-cons and where is he heading? put a guy out there in your face as howard said? >> he thinks that he can win. first of all it wouldn't look good if he backed down after what happened to susan rice and i think he thinks he can win this. and there are certain things about chuck hagel's resume that set with what he wants to do with defense. cutting defense spending, that sort of thing. it makes sense so he's going to stick with his pick. chris: is hagel, barack obama with a war record, is he really the guy that -- that obama has been hiding, more liberal on foreign policy? >> i believe that's right and he wouldn't have picked him in the second term unless he thought they were in sync on the larger philosophy of what they want. for the american force in the world. chris: a real statement picking this guy? >> he also thought he would give hi
throw in your ideas. my idea is this. he picked chuck hagel after watching two or three weeks of him trying to be destroyed by the right wing. he let them hang fire. give me your worst about this guy. do it all and i'm going to stick it in your face because i want a guy that thinks like me. he may be a notch or two to my left. take it. is that a sign of willing to fight this time? >> i think obama is the type of guy who picks his fights. sometimes he comes out and goes for the bipartisan compromise. doesn't work. he'll flip and do a fight. health care. great example. he tried to cut a deal with republicans, tried too hard according to some people on the left. left out the public option. then when he had no deal, what did he do? he rammed it through using methods that republicans screamed about. he also has this other thing. he's really good at driving them crazy so that they go to the excessive. i want to know what you think about this. i think republicans attacking hagel, war hero kind of a republican, moderate guy. they're going to look terrible in the end. and i think obama basica
gone, being replaced by folks like chuck hagel and john kerry who if confirmed both have more cautious views about the use of military force, president obama seems to be protecting himself from a scenario where he gets boxed in politically by the pentagon like some believe the president believes he was in 2011. hagel, though, still has his own fight on his hands. yet senator john mccain acknowledged that his skepticism about the nomination of his long time friend and ally has its roots, and why they've split since, has its roots in the fact that hagel split with mccain on the iraq surge. >> we both knew that we were losing the war in iraq. lindsey graham and i and joe lieberman and others said we need a surge. and the president somewhat reluctantly adopted the surge and it succeeded. senator hagel obviously said it couldn't. and he called it the biggest blunder since the vietnam war. that is a really gross misconception of america's role there and in the world. >> south carolina senator lindsey graham said he could put a hold on cia nominee john brennan's nomination until the white hou
of confirming president obama will nominate chuck hagel to be the next secretary of defense. the news is drawing criticisms from republicans and democrats. >>brian: jennifer, all engines straight ahead for senator hagel? >> that's right. what has republicans and democrats up in arms are remarks hagel made when he was in the senate, about israel. in a 2006 interview with former middle east convoy david miller, hagel said the following: >> i'm a united states senator. i'm a united states senator. [inaudible] >> hagel favored direct talks with iran and is one of two senators to vote against sanctioning iran. members of the senate armed services committee are questioning the president's choice. >> hagel, if confirmed to be secretary of defense, would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense toward the state of israel in our nation's history. not only has he said you should directly negotiate with iran, sanctions won't work, that israel must negotiate with hamas, an organization, terrorist group that lobbed thousands of rockets into israel. >> his defenders point to his two purple hearts in viet
to see you, chris. former senator chuck hagel, of course, just nominated for secretary of defense, he would be part of this pull-out. he's a guy that was not in favor of the troop surge, has a controversial side to him in that regard. what do we expect from him? >> reporter: basically, michael, wasn't in favor of the surge in iraq, not quite so critical of the surge in afghanistan. it's a big difference. on the surge in iraq, he called it one of the biggest foren policy blunders since vietnam. chuck hagel was part of the planning for the afghanistan surge under president obama. he consulted with the president's national security adviser and when he gave a speech shortly after that surge was announced didn't have much criticism for president obama, said he was approaching the situation very carefully. so that suggests that his position may be a lot more aligned with president obama on afghanistan than it was during the later years of president bush. >> yeah. president karzai, meeting him, he wants u.s. security personnel to stick around after 2014, that's going happen, but he's highly
at chuck hagel for the unspeakable crime of being of the about the iraq war, do you think they'll slow down the process trying to bog it down or will they see john kerry sail straight through. >> i think john kerry will have an easy time of it. i think chuck hagel will have a tougher time, and i do think that--i think hagel will have a roughing time of it then kerry. they all but nominated kerry them when beating up on susan rice. it would be heart to double back on him now. >> john: somewhere scott brown is washing his truck. charles pierce, so great to have you on the program. >> thanks, john, i appreciate it. >> john: thank you, for now on what president obama hopes to accomplish in his second temperature i'm happy to be joined by current tv correspondent david shuster and eric boehlert scene fellow with media matters for america. what does he have a better chance of pushing through. >> i think he has a greater chance on gun control and charles was right. it will make the heads explode on the right and make banning assault weapons closing gun show loops holes would seem reasonable. i thi
to kick off his second term but three of his top picks could face tough nomination. chuck hagel will have to answer questions about past comments he made about israel and gays. and john brennan picked to lead the c.i.a. will have to answer questions to link to enhanced interrogation techniques during the bush administration. jeff sessions and others coming out against jack lew for treasury-secretary. sessions says he believes lew 2010 budget testimony before congress was, quote, the most colossal misrepresentation in history. listen. >> i just had one vote on it. i do think the senate needs to push back against this idea that people can come before our committee and say anything they want to inaccurately and two years later want to be promoted to a higher office in our country really in the world. the secretary of treasury and we shouldn't treat that lightly. he needs to be held to account in my opinion. >> arthel: in order to get these nominees appointed, will president obama l have on to expend a lot of capital? former outreach director for john mckay and christy is director of new heig
nebraska senator chuck hagel to follow leon panetta as secretary of defense. here is senate minority leader mitch mcconnell as stephanie mentioned on one of his many appearances on the talk shows from abc's this week with mcconnell talking about his priorities for whoever takes over as secretary of defense. >> whoever is nominated for secretary of defense is going to have a have a full understanding of our close relationsship with our israeli allies, the iranian threat and the importance of having a robust military. >> he's just a bundle of energy. hagel is a vietnam war veteran and a moderate republican. he's taking heat especially from fellow republicans over his support of israel, whether or not he's supportive enough and whether or not he's willing to take a hard enough stance against iran. also today, the president is going to nominate his counterterrorism adviser brennan to succeed petraeus as head of the c.i.a. we're back after the break. that viewers like about the young turks is that we're honest. they know that i'm not bs'ing them with some hidden agenda, actually supporting one
. but first, the battle is ratcheting up today over chuck hagel's nomination as defense secretary. here's former secretary of state colin powell on "meet the press." >> i think he gets confirmed. i think ultimately he's superbly qualified based on his overall record, based on his service to the country, based on how he feels about troops and veterans and families. i think he will do a great job as secretary of defense. and i think in his confirmation hearings all of these issues that you've raised, that others have raised, he'll be prepared to deal with. >> also new today, senator john mccain offering new insight into his concern about this nomination. >> what is his view of america's role in the world? whether he really believes that the surge was the worst blunder since the vietnam war. that clearly is not -- that's not correct. i mean, in fact, it's bizarre. why would he oppose calling the iranian revolutionary guard a terrorist organization? these are legitimate questions that need to be asked. i honor his service. we are friends. but i have an obligation to the men and women who ar
, and i did recommending both hagel and carey. >> joy: okay. so who else? did you talk about lou? >> no i was talking about cheryl sanburg. >> jennifer: all right. what about chief of staff? >> i was thinking shean donovan and then there would be a new hud secretary -- >> but he is not leaving. >> yes, there are some wonderful public service opportunities in los angeles that hilda solis is taking a look at. many people have encouraged her to take a look at running for office. >> jennifer: he has gotten some criticism for appointing all white males so far. but he is going to appoint some women. >> that's right. >> jennifer: we're going to come back and talk about another really important subject. so come back and we have some other stories to cover, because there are some developments in the war on women, but after the break we have got to talk about what is happening in congress in the right on right fight. poor john boehner meet poor mitch mcconnell, the club for republican leaders in need of a hug appears to have added a member. we'll be right back. jennifer granholm
a fascinating story regarding charles schumer. it seems that chuck schumer is the key to chuck hagel's failure or success. tell us why. >> that's right. and first we have to do happy friday. >> happy friday. >> happy friday. >> boy, do we need that. >> and this is a surprise. senator schumer has been telling his allies in new york, especially jewish groups, that would be, quote, very hard, very hard for him to support chuck hagel for pentagon head because of his positions on israel the other day. the real canary in the coal mine on the trouble that the hagel nomination has faced was on "meet the press" several weaks ago when senator schumer surprisingly wouldn't commit to supporting him. and usually when the president has a nominee, favorite nominee, a name out there, the number three democrat in the senate, chuck schumer, is going to say sure, i'll support him. he said he's going to listen for the hearings. and that's where he still is. just wednesday at a private breakfast at park avenue winter, one of those fancy restaurants up there, senator schumer was saying that he was very uneasy about
secretary of defense. what do we think about the hagel decision, and is that presemtively taking on the politics, because he know he won't have the drama or go in to have the hagel fight? >> well, i don't believe he wants any of the fights. i am among those who are surprised that he went with hagel because they could see controversy there. and secretary gates, the democrats like to have a republican defense secretaries, and they feel like it is good optics to have a republican in national security post, and secretary gates was well liked by the republicans even though he was to the left of the center of the bush era on national security establishment. >> which is not very far left. >> still very much center right at least, and hagel did break with the republican colleagues and i think that the white house had no know that there was sort of resentment, and bad blood there. so i'm surprised, but i don't think that he wants a fight. i see the way he abandoned susan rice not the deal with it and they don't want to burn political capital on the bandwidth, but hagel will be okay, and t
and expend all their ammunition, if they have much, probably on chuck hagel. they may try to take them both out, but it seems to me, you can't litigate every single nominee that the president, who was just reelected, sends down to the hill. they are going to have 55 votes in the senate. it doesn't seem to me jack lew is going to be the one that they really make a fuss over, but we'll see what comes out over the next 48 hours and what they are saying once it's official, what sort of vibe and signals we get from the senate. >> jack lew and vibes. i want to open this up to our panel here. jen, you know, to some degree, the bluster from the republican party is now par for the course on basically everything. if the president announced he was going to have a tuna fish sandwich for lunch, i'm sure there would be outcry it wasn't chicken salad. >> if lindsey graham was nominated, i'm not sure he'd vote for himself at this point. it's become this big trend, that's unfortunate. take a step back, it is delaying the process to getting important nominees in place, and whether you're a democrat or republ
that the president's choice in john kerry and check hagel indicate withdrawing more troops and leaving far fewer in that country and as we move forward with other possible conflicts. >> i hope so. i think both are vietnam vets and wounded in action. they have a very realistic view on the limitations of military power. this is going to be important. president obama is not going to get much out of karzai from a strictly military perspective and maybe 30,000 troops is the right answer for air power and counter terrorism and intelligence support in afghanistan. i don't think that's going to happen. i'm not too sure we are not well-served by going to a near zero option. >> karzai said he wants the u.s. out of afghanistan, but we know there is a concern about al qaeda and the overall safety here from terrorist who is live and exist there. >> yeah, but a problem with dealing with karzai who two years from now, it is likely he will be in dubai with his family. it's likely that that will unravel minus a significant military presence. having said that, i don't think he will give us a status force agreemen
confirmation process for chuck hagel. we were talking a lot about this yesterday. also some other nominees as well. but you say the white house is looking forward to these fights. why would that be? >> no, that's exactly right. this is a real window into why the president made this tough choice of chuck hagel. and that is we talked to people around the white house who said that the president wants fights with congress. and there's both a short-term strategy here and a long-term strategy. in the short term, the president wants to take advantage of the fact that he's the only person in these negotiations who's not running for re-election. so he can afford to be tough. he can afford to stand up for what he said. second, simple contempt by the president. these republicans who lost to him so badly in 2012, in his view, just won't take yes for an answer. so there's a little bit of exasperation by the president. but pull back the camera, and you see the bigger strategy, which is looking ahead to the midterm elections in 2014. by picking tough fights with the hill, the president uses his office to
hagel and john brennan, because they have been controversial and have some opposition. >> well, first of all, with chuck hagel, you have someone who's decorated war hero, you have someone who served well in the senate, who has a lot of support from people. at the same time, you have senators who have legitimate questions. i think what's important here, andrea, we're finally going to have a hearing to have opportunity for the nominee to answer these questions instead of just having his name out there not being able to answer it. you've seen a number of senators that are open minded and give full consideration to his nomination. i was just concerned this kept going without a nominee, now there is a nominee for both positions and all of these concerns, as they should be, should be considered in the process. >> based on what you now know, do you think hagel will be confirmed? >> i have no chrrystal ball, i wouldn't have thought we'd be in the senate at 2:00 in the morning on new year's eve. i don't think anyone can really say, but i think there are a number of people who have been very op
of washington's most powerful special interest groups. pro-gun and pro-israel lobbies. dominating chuck hagel point to a president unafraid of going head to head with two powerful lobbying groups that have long wheeleded strong influence in washington. i'm joined by national journal political correspondent beth rinehart who writes about the president's busting second term. >> thanks for having me. >> the president is relishing his approval numbers and the fact that he didn't have to run again. he actually talked about the second term on "meet the press." i want to play that. >> one of the nice things about never having another election again. i will never campaign again. is you know, i think you can rest assured that all i care about is making sure i leave behind an america that is stronger, more prosperous, more stable and secure than when i first came into office. >> the first thing, rahm emanuel when chief of staff, had this policy, you don't take on a fight that you don't have a realistic chance of winning. is this a change? >> that is a change. i mean, the president obama we've seen over
to leave. also, chuck hagel for the defense secretary but the blood letting their of already begun. why do the republicans dislike him? he's a republican. >> he is in the lrepublican party the way lieberman stands with the democrats. he was never popular in his own party. he came out very strongly against nominating him because of anti-gay sentiments in the past. the apologized but it was not accepted by frank and others. he voted against sections against iran. he appears to be ready to make huge cuts in spending in defense and alike, for example, leon panetta, who argued against sequestration cuts saying it would hollow out the military. you get the sense from panetta that he would resign in principle if the sequestration went into effect. there's a lot of argument against him on the left and right. >> a former combat veteran of vietnam going to the pentagon. >> someone who has seen combat, spilled blood of enemies in combat. it would be great for so many of the hawks to develop their think tanks. he is demanded independence of conscience. he has been a very loyal republican. the pointy c
. republicans have made no secrets that they intend to make the confirmation of chuck hagel very difficult. and jack lou who was nominated for treasury secretary will have a much easier go of it than hagel. well the conventional wisdom may be wrong. alabama senator jeff sessions, who is the ranking minority member of the senate budget committee had this to say about jack lou. >> i tend to oppose this nomination. he doesn't bring the former new york fed chairman like secretary geithner and other very prominent people that we've had as secretary of treasury the premier financial position in the united states government more important because our president has no training, and really no understanding of class classical business and economics. >> jennifer: and an unnamed congression nat source told the "washington post" jennifer ruben that lou was the one to screw up any dales deals and proposed lefty positions, whatever that means. and, we don't need a treasury secretary who thinks that wall street deregulation was not responsible for the financial crisis. we need a treasury secretary who wil
. there is no limit to your honesty. i am a proud vietnam veteran. i served when chuck hagel and his brother were there. what is it you can see that causes such a rift with the republicans went a democrat chooses a republican such as mr. chuck hagel. he has so much significant qualifications and knowledge of congress. that is the key thing. what: i guess we'll see the objections to a hagel are. i think hagel is a sound choice. i think the president has every right to nominate chuck hagel for this position. some statements he has made in the past need to be aired. my guess is that he will be confirmed by a large margin in the senate. the secretary of defense does not make foreign policy. the secretary of defense plays the primary role of bringing our defense department to bear to the service of the president. most people believe his qualifications are sound. he was a decorated hero, enlisted man in the vietnam war. there never has been an enlisted man like him as secretary of defense. the issues he is going to confront our budgetary issues and how well we can fund the pentagon and how we can cut b
to me that jack lew kept moving the goal posts on them. yes, there will be opposition. for chuck hagel, no. i believe in the end jack lew will get confirmed. but i'll tell you this, the reason the white house put off the announcement of jack lew until tomorrow is because of the fiscal cliff. they didn't want it to get involved in the negotiations for the fiscal cliff. they felt that they already had a fight on their hands. they didn't want to add any fuel to the fire on that, which is why they've held off of the nomination until this week. they do expect him to get confirmed and so do i. >> john kerry, secretary of state. we've got a lot of white males, shall we say, chuck hagel, we have pictures up there. jack lew, eric holder is over at the justice department. he's not a white male. he's an african-american. but no women. >> men. men. >> i want to put up another picture of the seen yr staff, if you will. there you you he sue the staff. there's been mur muring that there's not enough women part of this white house, the inner circle. what are folks saying about that? >> the visual you
, the front page of the washington times, nomination of chuck hagel, a republican, to head the pentagon. that's where the confirmation hearings will take place, before the senate armed services committee. the "washington times notes that several other republicans on the committee which will hold the hearings as already indicated they intend to -- have already indicated they intend to vote against chuck hagel. and regarding john kerry, swift boat veterans for troop helped to sink john kerry's bid for the white house years ago, but the group has decided it will not try to torpedo his nomination to head up the state department. today's's a story in new york times opinion pages. chuck hagel under attack again, a story about his service in vietnam, something that many of you might know about -- might not know about. the soldier was on fire, yet he instinctively reached for the unconscious 19-year-old gun runner caught in the burning steel cage and rescued him. the story goes on to say that it was the brother of chuck hagel. the two of them serve side-by- side in a unit of 12 at times because of ca
unhappiness when i read about chuck hagel's remarks from 14 years ago, which i didn't remember, but now the question is he's a man who is going to help us withdraw from afghanistan and reduce the military. i'm very encouraged by that. my one criticism of the president was he wasn't going far enough in reducing the military. i think people now understand that it's either keeping troops in nato or cutting medicare, and i think the american people are on the side of medicare. >> if hagel gets confirmed, do you think you could help him do the job of reforming at the pentagon and saving some money? >> yes, i think -- well, in the first few months -- i won't be there long enough even if i get it. but the job there is to run interference for him. by the way, some basic politics, you understand, chris, cutting existing weapons systems with all the web of contracts out there can be hard, but what you can do is not start new ones. it's easier to block projects that shouldn't be done going forward than to start them, and i certainly will be there. i hope he's going to continue to support the notio
speaking with authority, but is this not another good reason for chuck hagel's nomination because he, unlike so many of his fellow republicans, prefers to act cautiously when it comes to these forays over seas? >> well, two things. he prefers to act cautiously using war as a last resort instead of a rather more immediate choice as had been the case over the last decade, but he's also a big supporter of working multilaterally and that's why he had been so critical of the bush administration in iraq. the problem wasn't necessarily that going into afghanistan too quickly. it was that we got distracted for all those years in iraq and let the situation in afghanistan deteriorate. chuck hagel was right at the time in criticizing the bush administration on this. that's why it has long struck me you would want a man who does not want to rush into warfare as a first resort sitting there in charge of the pentagon. >> right. mike, on a slightly broader scale, are you at all concerned that this president's rightful desire to get our troops out of these entrenched and intractable conflicts, that
that the president's nominees so far have absolutely been spot on. particularly with senator chuck hagel taking over defense department. he did try to get susan rice before senator kerry took it. i think you raised a legitimate point as he continues his nominations. take for example the transportation. he has an ideal choice here to pick a woman, a republican. senator hutchison from texas who really understands the infrastructure challenges of our nation. and i think as a republican can help us raise money in public-private ventures. understanding government can't get the $100 billion needed for our roads that need repair and enhancement. we have to do it like the state of illinois did. city of chicago did. do private-public ventures. but the president did appoint two people who were women to the supreme court. but i do think this is a legitimate point as he continues on. >> hogan, i'm curious about the debt ceiling fight. we know that is looming. it is expected to get nasty. how much do you think the republicans are going to take on the president, take on the democrats? you see what senator harry r
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